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2011 Spottswoode "Family Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1168745 96 points Vinous

Outer quote mark What a pleasant surprise it is to revisit the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. Floral notes, gravel, herbs, rose petal and sweet red cherries infuse a classically-built, mid-weight Cabernet Sauvignon endowed with real class and personality. The tannins need time to soften, but otherwise this is an exceptional, and I do mean, exceptional, wine. (AG) Inner quote mark (12/2016)

95 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark A solid Spottswoode with mint, currants, berries and flowers. Sweet tobacco and rose petals. Full body with silky tannins and a long, long finish. Tangy, energetic and lively. A wine with form, tension and beauty. This is classic California. 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Better in 2016. (JS) Inner quote mark (5/2014)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark New winemaker Aron Weinkauf started in a vintage that has been excessively maligned, despite evidence of very strong efforts produced in the 2011 vintage, including the 2011 Spottswoode, which is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Nearly 3,300 cases were produced. As the complete younger vines began producing at full-throttle, the wine offers up loads of blueberry and blackcurrant fruit, is a trifle more compact than the 2010 or for that matter the 2012, 2013 or 2014. It shows admirable purity, plenty of floral blackcurrants that this property is known for and beautiful texture in a medium to full-bodied style. Rain at harvest seems to have had no impact on the quality of this wine. It probably won’t be as long-lived as some of the exceptional years, but it is certainly set for another 20 years of deliciousness. (RP) Inner quote mark (8/2016)

93 points Decanter

Outer quote mark The 2011 vintage in Napa has been written off by the wine press, but some wines are actually very successful, among them the Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon. High-toned aromas of red and black raspberry fruit, cedar and subtle spice are followed on the palate by a fresh, primary wine. It is still wrapped up in its structural elements, but beginning to show its ultimate quality. An impressive debut vintage for winemaker Aron Weinkauf. (WK) Inner quote mark (10/2015)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Saturated ruby. Musky nose shows nutty oak and an herbal green-peppery quality, with its dark fruit aromas in the deep background today. Nicely ripe dark berry and red cherry fruit flavors are kept tight by the wine's green pepper element and firm acidity. A savory black olive note adds nuance. Not light or thin but this needs at least a few more years of patience to reveal itself. The firmly tannic finish shows very good thrust and length. (ST, in Vinous) 91+ Inner quote mark (6/2016)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Contains 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Pettit Verdot. Aged for 19 months in 62% new French oak. Deep crimson. Very savoury and vibrant nose. Very serious and long term and dense. Just a bit chewy on the end. Sinewy. Rather reminiscent of Ch. Haut-Brion. Released beginning of September 2014. A serious wine by any measure. About 3,500 cases made. 18.5/20 points. (JR) Inner quote mark (6/2014)

K&L Notes

As the rain clouds kept rolling over the Napa Valley in the fall of 2011, with grapes still hanging on the vine, it didn't bode well for the vintage. Surprisingly, many 2011 Cabernets are turning out rather nicely. Or perhaps, not surprisingly, in cases of estates with a great record of meticulous growing and winemaking like Spottswoode. Still, finesse more than muscle is the watchword here, according to the winery's reflections: "The 2011 Cabernet is captivating—beautifully capturing the essence of the Spottswoode Estate vineyard in this cooler-than-normal vintage. Our winemaker’s descriptors include, 'ripe black cherry, blackberry, nutmeg, dark chocolate, juicy ripeness with a hint of dried sage, graphite, concentrated black tea, ripe cranberry, and bay leaf.' The fruit characters are dynamic and vivacious, sharing layers of minerality, floralness, spices and herbs. Where some vintages get their strength from pure muscle and brawn, the 2011 draws its strength from its core and its finesse—much the same way a yogi exhibits strength and balance versus a weightlifter's brute heft."


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Price: $139.99
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